Memphis Police this morning said their investigation of the deaths of six people at a house in Binghampton involves someone who killed four adults and two children, wounded three other children and then left.
There was no sign of a break-in at the home at 722 Lester St., said Police Homicide Lt. Joe Scott. Scott added police have no motive for the crime and haven’t ruled out any possibility completely, though when asked, he told reporters, “We believe that the killer did leave the home.”
Scott confirmed that the dead included two men, two women and two boys. But he would not comment on how they were killed or how the three survivors were injured. All three children remained at Le Bonheur Children’s Medical Center Tuesday afternoon. Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton issued a written statement saying his "thoughts and prayers are with the families." "Please know that the Memphis Police Department is doing its level best to bring those responsible for these horrific crimes to justice," the statement reads. "I know this cannot replace the lives lost. I simply hope it will bring a measure of comfort to those who grieve the passing of their family, friends and neighbors." Homicide detectives were expected to remain at the house on Lester throughout the day Tuesday.
“There’s not a lot we can tell you. We have not identified anyone positively. It’s going to take some time,” Scott said. “We are not going to hinder our investigation in any way.”
The bodies were discovered by police at around 6 p.m. Monday after a friend of the family called police to say no one inside was responding to telephone calls or knocks at the door.
Scott said police are seeking information from anyone who might have noticed anything around the house between Saturday evening, when those inside were last seen alive, and when the bodies were found Monday evening.
The six dead represent one of the worst mass murders in modern Memphis history.
The five children range in age from 18 months to 10 years old, though police have not yet announced the specific ages of the children who died and the children who were injured.
“This is our community. This is a stain on our community,” Scott said as he appealed for information. “These are children that were brutally killed at 722 Lester. We’re looking for anyone that has any information.”
Police Public Information Officer Detective Monique Martin compared the investigation to a “blank sheet of paper.”
“Someone knows something or heard something,” Martin said.